Sphinx carbon dating

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In Dynasty 12, Amenemhet I actually took bits and pieces of Old Kingdom tomb chapels and pyramid temples (including those of the Giza Pyramids) and dumped them into the core of his pyramid at Lisht.At Giza, south of the Sphinx, we are excavating remains of facilities for storage and production of fish, meat, bread, and copper that date to the middle and end of Dynasty 4, when the pyramids of Khafre and Menkaure were under construction.Archaeologists believe Egypt’s large pyramids are the work of the Old Kingdom society that rose to prominence in the Nile Valley after 3000 B. Historical analysis tells us that the Egyptians built the Giza Pyramids in a span of 85 years between 25 BC.Interest in Egyptian chronology is widespread in both popular and scholarly circles.

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While alive, all plants and animals take C14 into their bodies.The giant stone pyramids in the early Old Kingdom may mark a major consumption of Egypt's wood cover, and therein lies the reason for the wide scatter, increased antiquity, and history-unfriendly radiocarbon dating results from the Old Kingdom, especially from the time of Djoser to Menkaure.In other words, it is the old-wood effect that haunts our dates and creates a kind of shadow chronology to the historical dating of the pyramids.The earliest experiments in radiocarbon dating were done on ancient material from Egypt. Libby’s team obtained acacia wood from the 3rd Dynasty Step Pyramid of Djoser to test a hypothesis they had developed.Libby reasoned that since the half-life of C years, the Djoser sample’s C14 concentration should be about 50% of the concentration found in living wood (for further details, see Arnold and Libby, 1949). Subsequent work with radiocarbon testing raised questions about the fluctuation of atmospheric C14 over time.

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